Why Choose Nazareth for Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. Board-certified music therapists (MT-BCs) work in medical, psychiatric and educational settings to help clients improve psychological and physiological functioning.

The music therapy degree program at Nazareth College studies the impact of melody, harmony, and rhythm on children and adults with physical, communication, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. Students participate in hands-on clinical training, working directly with clients both in the community and in Nazareth's on-campus Music Therapy Clinic, part of the College's Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute. Nazareth is the only college that offers this program within 120 miles of Rochester. 

As part of clinical practice, music therapy majors learn to improvise and compose music for guitar and piano. They work in a number of educational and healthcare settings, and complete six-month internships at the culmination of their degree program.

Program Highlights

  • Music therapy majors gain clinical practice skills through musical proficiency, research, and direct clinical experience, to pursue clinical practice or advanced degrees.
  • Completion of the curriculum and clinical training approved by the American Music Therapy Association makes you eligible to sit for the national certification examination in music therapy administered by the Certification Board of Music Therapists (MT-BC).

Program Options

Typical Class Schedule


Program Contact

Betsey O. King

Betsey O. King

Associate Professor of Music Therapy in Music
Associate Professor of Music / Music Therapy in Creative Arts Therapy Department
Music House 25
Jessica Jarvis, alumna of the music therapy major, music therapy degree program at Nazareth College

Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Jarvis ‘11

Jessica was elected president of the American Music Therapy Association Students group during her senior year at Nazareth. Her six-month internship at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, led to being hired there as a full-time board-certified music therapist.

Example Careers

  • School music therapist
  • Gerontology specialist
  • Mental health clinician
  • Medical music therapist

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Hospice Buffalo
  • The Wildwood School, VA

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital
  • West Palm Beach Hospice
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center, NJ
  • Giant Steps Autism Treatment, CT
  • Drexel University
  • Florida State University
Music Therapy "Awesomeness"

What is it really like to be a music therapy student at Naz?

Volunteering at an elementary school, working in a clinic on campus, and co-disciplinary experience make the music therapy major an exciting and integrative program with real world experience.

Read about Conner Burry's experience as a music therapy major at Naz.